Amateur Telescope Making & other do it yourself projects

ATM & other do it yourself projects

Tracker Tester

Ages ago I wrote a simple BBC Basic for Windows program that slowly moves a single, white pixel across a blank computer screen. It uses the resolution, width and distance away of the screen to move the pixel more or less at sidereal rate, allowing it to be used to test tracking in daylight, even indoors!

I did post a link on SGL a couple of times then forgot about it, but I’ve just been asked if it’s OK to share it on a Facebook astronomy page.

The reminder made me think I ought to post the link here:

www.stubmandrel.co.uk/astronomy/152-tracker-tester

I’ll try and remember to bring it along to a mid-month meeting to do a demo!

tracker tester screenshot
tracker tester screenshot

How to make an image intensified eyepieces using old tank image intensified tubes – re-post from 2009

In 2009, Damian and I successfully managed to make image intensified eyepieces out of old tank image intensified tubes. Below are links to PDF files for the instructions on how to make those eyepieces.

Andy

Instructions for making the eyepieces:

Instructions-making-image-intensified-eyepiece-2009 (PDF)

Image-Intensifier-Info-Instructions-Nov-2009 (PDF)

Photos of the eyepiece and its construction, and an excuse to re-print a photograph of myself looking a lot younger (with hair!):

Examples of images taken through these eyepieces auing hand held smartphone in 2017:

The following three photographs are Double Cluster in Perseus/M81 and M82 in Ursa Major/M42 Orion Nebula.

Full details of the observing session, equipment used and objects in photographs above can be seen below:

Making a heated computer mat for use outside

Now I am in the business of taking astrophotography, this means my favourite laptop is sittong outside in the cold and damp.

Hence, the need to create a heated computer mat to keep it comfy! Also stops it turning off in the cold.

Composed of two x vivsrium heating mats and one of those plastic mats with lots of holes for putting pots on when you take them off the stove – the mats produce vs. 13W each and the holey mat covering them allows heat through and any moisture to drain away as well as ensuring plenty of ventilation for bottom of laptop.

Andy

mobile base for EQ6/HEQ5 completed

At last! My mobile base for my EQ6 is completed. Someone will note slightly extended legs and wonder why…..answer is that base is designed to take either EQ6 as is currently on it or HEQ5- and the tripod on HEQ5 (same as EQ5 tripod but different from EQ6 tripod) has long legs and wider spread than EQ6 tripod.

Andy

Painting/staining of new HEQ5/EQ6 mobile base with Cuprinol now completed

Two layers of Cuprinol later (left over from my wife’s fence painting project earlier in the year), the new mobile wooden HEQ5/EQ6 will be ready for vanishing with yacht varnish once it dries – and with high humidity levels at present and low temperatures I think it might take a few days before it properly dries out from the water based Cuprinol. That’s the price you pay for using left over stuff!

Andy